The original "Key to the Dreamspell Agenda"
piece has now been revised. The main analysis remains unchanged, regarding the
effects of skipping February 29th (leap day), but I have edited out the science-fiction
style that directly implied that Dreamspell's creator was responsible for the
effects of skipping February 29th. The interpretation that such day-skipping
is objectionable because it violates a fundamental principle of time resonance
(namely, that the same day-sign and numbersay, 8 Imixmust always
be separated by 260 days) remains my own. Yet, is such an interpretation unreasonable?
On the contrary, it seems common sense. The science-fiction style referred to
above was an intentional strategy to alert people to the seriousness of ignoring
the existence of the True Count (the authentic surviving calendar tradition
in Guatemala). It should go on record that the original "Agenda" piece
was instrumental in triggering the Dreamspell movement's acknowledgment that
such a True Count exists, and therefore was a force for positive change and
manifesting truth. Now, some seven years later, the piece has been revised to
reflect only my critique of the spiritual/philosophical system called Dreamspell,
and should not be construed as being a negative attack on Mr. Arguelles. All
philosophical models and religious/spiritual movements should undergo scrutiny
and assessment, in the interest of clarity and truth.
JMJ, March 2, 2003
To the John Major Jenkins / Alignment2012 homepage.
This revision was encouraged by recent exchanges with seekers, in three e-mails, linked below.
1. Letter from/to Eden Sky
2. Letter from/to David Talks in the Clouds
3. Following Dreamspell was written in November 2002 at the invitation of a member of the tortuga e-mail list. I also posted a clarification there; the thread is at: http://www.tortuga.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard.pl?s=3ddca548019effff;act=ST;f=1;t=155.
My letter to Mark V of September 1995 reveals the original impetus to write The Key to the Dreamspell Agenda piece.
Manifesto for Clarity was a more objective follow-up piece to the Key essay, and was distributed at the Institute of Maya Studies in 1996.
My book 7 Wind: A Quiché Maya Calendar for 1993 explains the various esoteric and exoteric aspects of the surviving initiatory day-keeper tradition in highland Guatemala. It is posted online as a basis for understanding my comparison between this traditional day-count system and the new Dreamspell system.
|"Furthermore, the Dreamspell count is mutable in that it loses a day every 4 years. Here is the key to understanding the constantly changing dissonant relationship between the Dreamspell calendar and the authentic traditional calendar of the Quiché Maya."|
|"Dreamspell promoted July 26th, 1992 as the beginning of the final katun of the Great Cycle, and this was clearly way off the mark. The final katun actually commenced on April 6th, 1993 (22.214.171.124.1) in conjunction with, amazingly, Venus rising as morningstar." [See chapter from my book Tzolkin.]|
|"A core truth with deep implications: 126.96.36.199.0 is 4 Ahau, December 21, 2012 AD. When that all important date arrives, and it is not 4 Ahau, how can we synchronize?"|
Through the work of clear-thinking individuals wishing to protect and learn from authentic Mayan cultural traditions, most notably the Sacred Calendar tradition, the effects of Dreamspell in relation to the traditional tzolkin calendar is quite apparent through a systems analysis. The operation of the still living day-keeper tradition that utilizes the surviving Classic-period tzolkin calendar can be found here. New ideas, especially if they are claimed to derive from discarnate beings, should be questioned with a discerning mind. It is our birthright to question all new dispensations and revelations, to test them in every way we can, to determine if they are something we truly want to follow or believe in. This is always the perogative of free-willed beings. This essay presents the interpretation that the Neo-Mayan calendar movement known as Dreamspell, whatever the underlying intentions are, projects a ritual field that is at odds with the age-old field generated by the traditional and authentic Mayan calendar. Why such a new creation, which presumes to supersede the ingenious and still-surviving traditional calendar of Mesoamerica, is even considered necessary, is unknown. This is a central and quite reasonable question that Dreamspell's designer, the visionary philosopher José Arguelles, should address.
Middle American traditions celebrate the earth and perceive an inseparable unity between sky and eartha unity of spiritual and physical being. The modern Maya retain the ancient vision of life within the Gaian body, and this is why, as Mark Valladares writes, Maya means Mother. Unfortunately, this beautiful holistic cosmology has no place in a trans-national future of high-tech serfdom and spiritual subjection of the Earth Mother's citizens to the continuing agenda of materialism and manipulation. In these times of spiritual degeneration, sensory noise, and moral chaos, the onslaught against the Maya of Central America continues in various forms while they struggle to preserve the ancient ways. Now more than ever, we need to celebrate, support, and try to understand the traditional ways of the surviving calendar, lest it finally be plowed under like so many other native traditions. The self-serving and ultimately destructive agenda of a modernity obsessed with new creations always tries to impose its own values on native symbols. Dreamspell, though based on the 260-day tzolkin calendar, actually operates in a way that is quite different than the traditional calendar. This fact, unfortunately, in my opinion leads inescapably to the conclusion that Dreamspell is a perfect example of how indigenous handiwork gets appropriated, misrepresented and distorted.
In the Dreamspell literature of the early and mid 1990s, widely available on
the World Wide Web and thus influencing people around the world, the unique
and creative perspective developed by visionary channeler Jose Arguelles was
originally promoted as the Mayan calendar. Happily, due mainly to the
patient admonitions of protectors of the traditional calendar, Dreamspell is
now distinguished as a largely separate enterprise. In other words, the fundametal
truth that the Mayan day-keeper and calendar tradition survives in Guatemala,
was finally acknowledged. Yet the entire new system created and developed over
many years was predicated on the assumption that the tradition was lost. Thus,
the need for a new dispensation, updated for modern use, was desired. However,
now that the traditional calendar system has been re-discovered, and the fact
that the new and the old are odds, brings up the dilemma of how they relate
to each other, and what the ritual field effects of that relationship might
be. My examination of this dilemma here is a comparative systems analysis and
is not intended to be an ad hominen exposé of Mr. Arguelles.
The correlation between the tzolkin and Gregorian calendars is the most important basis for acting in solidarity with the Maya. The correlation used by Arguelles in The Mayan Factor (1986) and Dreamspell (1991) is wrong. Wrong, in the sense that it is not equivalent to the surviving day-count placement among the Quiché Maya that has a direct, unbroken lineage going back to the Classic-period and beyond, probably (according to Munro Edmonson in his The Book of the Year, University of Utah Press, 1988), to about 600 BC. Perhaps we can trace the origin and development of his Dreamspell day-count placement.
In a two-page note found in Arguelles' early book The Transformative Vision (1975), he discusses the correlation problem and admits that, at that point, he doesn't know what day it really is in the tzolkin count. He does, however, suggest that Tony Shearer is doing good work in this area, and may have something to offer in his forthcoming book Beneath the Moon and Under the Sun (1975). Information on pages 116 and 154 of Shearer's book allow us to reconstruct the correlation that Shearer came up with: August 17th, 1987 is equated with 1 Imix. This means that Shearer's correlation was only one day off the True Count (in which August 16th = 1 Imix). Thus the man whose work was the basis for the Harmonic Convergence date in 1987 was apparently rooted in the True Count! The one day deviance may simply be mathematical error, as other calculations in Shearer's book are off the mark. For example, on page 115 we read that 170,937 days after April 21st, 1519, the Fifth World will end; on the next page we are given the date August 16th, 1987 as the end date. This calculation is off by over 100 days, meaning that Harmonic Convergence should have happened in early spring! The mid-August date was probably chosen because the astrology was fortuitous.
After discussing Shearer's work (1975:302-303), Arguelles then discusses the information from the Books of Chilam Balam, calling it "somewhat less precise." In these books, Arguelles writes, "no dates are given." This is revealing because years later, in a transcript of a talk Jose gave in April of 1995, which appeared in Sedona journal, he says that his source for the correlation he uses comes from the Chilam Balam line of the Jaguar Priest tradition. This is highly unusual, because academic analysis of the Books of Chilam Balam, as well as the Chronicle of Oxcutzcab and the writings of Bishop Diego de Landa is exactly what led to the discovery of the 584283 correlationthe True Mayan Count. If Jose's count is derived from this placement, and the Yucatec daykeeper tradition did implement a reform which "froze" their New Year's Day to July 26th, such that the tzolkin correlation loses 1 day every 4 years (as in Jose's count), then we can check this in the following way. There are roughly 103 leap days that are lost between 1582 (the approximate time of the Yucatec reform) and 1995. Thus, Jose's count, if it does follow this conquest-era distortion of the True Count of days, should be 103 days different from the True Count. But it isn't, it is presently 52 days different. While Jose does openly discuss the correlation problem back in 1975, unfortunately today his statements contain contradictions and vaguely or improperly used terminology. For example, regarding vague usage of terminology, he has used the term "start date" to respond to the issue of the correlation question; however he used it in the sense of "New Year's Day." So, when he writes that there are many different "start dates" he refers to the fact that different groups used different New Years Day. However, this variable feature of the calendar's operation does not have anything to do with the correlation question. Different Mayan tribes following the same correlation (or day-count placement) could follow many different New Year's Day placements. This distinction is a fairly elementary level of understanding the calendar. Again, see my online book 7 Wind for details. Regarding contradiction, see his statements given on the Books of Chilam Balam at the beginning of this paragraph. For the sake of clarity and truth, the reader is here reminded that, in a 1989 letter to an astrologer, José explained that his correlation came from a Mexican artist he was in contact with in the 1970s. Published evidence of its use does not come until The Mayan Factor (1987), although it is probable that his new system was shared with Hunbatz Men when he was brought by José to Boulder, Colorado, in 1985.
In Earth Ascending (1984), no mention is made of a correlation date. In The Mayan Factor, a few dates are presented which establish a correlation was chosen. At that time Arguelles' count correlation was 54 days out of sync with the True Count: on page 196, October 6th, 1986 is called 1 Imix (in the True Count it was 12 Manik). This is the standard count used from then on, especially present in the Dreamspell kit of 1991, which contained a "Galactic Compass" for finding dates.
Dreamspell contains mathematical and operational inconsistencies which have not been satisfactorily explained by its creator. Because of negative judgments of the original version of this essay, it seems necessary to emphasize that this does not imply a personal criticism of Mr Arguelles, only that the responsibility of the creator of a new thought system or philosophical tool to respond to reasonable critique has never been met. These issues have been vaguely explained away (as in the "start date" example above), but they haven't been explained by any satisfactory standard of sense making. Among these: The Dreamspell tzolkin count loses 1 day every 4 years because it simply ignores February 29th. In addition, the day-count placement itself is not the same count used by the Classic-period Maya (the so-called "Galactic" Maya). Dreamspell ignores the consensus among modern daykeepers in Mesoamerica who still follow the True Count. And a minor point: Dreamspell promoted July 26th, 1992 as the beginning of the final katun of the Great Cycle, and this was clearly way off the mark. The final katun actually commenced on April 6th, 1993 (188.8.131.52.1) in conjunction with, amazingly, Venus rising as morningstar. This was an authentic calendric epiphany lost on Dreamspellers because it wasn't part of the topics ever discussed in the Dreamspell literature or, as far as I known, in public talks.
These are some of the more easily identified problems of Dreamspell. And they are all factual errors of operation, rather than my own opinionated judgments. A most interesting result of these time-counting errors is that the February 29th non-day causes the dissonance between the Dreamspell count and the True Count to shift every four years. Whether these are intentionally obscure "mistakes" of Dreamspell or are part of some higher-dimensional master plan, we can at least do a system analysis of what the effects of this discrepancy are. We need to look deeper, lay aside imagined or real intentions of Dreamspell's creator, and try to decide whether or not Dreamspell is efficacious in what it claims to be able to do. Again, this is simply an analysis that all new theories or systems should undergo. Blind faith has no place in a time when clarity and discernment are so important for the emergence of truth. My own work with the Mayan calendar tradition has undergone lengthy critique, and I have not shied away from posting such critiques on my own web site.
The first thing that comes to mind is the possibility that it is not okay to follow just any placement of the ritual count. This is because the Morphic Resonance fed by ongoing and ancient shrine ceremonies performed on specific days in the tzolkin count is subject to disruption if a dissonant count attempts to supersede it. Authentic traditional Mayan culture follows the ancient True Count of days, reinforces its oracular power as a divinatory tool through timed ceremonies, and is the only one that can be said to be "galactically synchronized." Why? Because the galactic synchronization day is December 21, 2012 AD. On the Mayan Creation monuments, from Quirigua and Coba for example, this day corresponds to 4 Ahau in the tzolkin day-count. In the traditional Classic-period True Count still followed by the Quiché Maya , 4 Ahau does indeed correspond to December 21, 2012. In the Dreamspell count, it does not. In fact, the Dreamspell day-count will be some 47 days out of synchronization with 4 Ahau, the Creation Day. The implementation of a different count of days by the pseudo-Mayan Dreamspell movement sets up a ritual interference pattern and thus threatens to disrupt the Mayan culture today, so held together as it is by the tzolkin-timed shrine rituals. It would take a very belabored endeavor of rationalizing to not make this conclusion. Furthermore, the Dreamspell count is mutable in that it loses a day every 4 years. Here is the key to understanding the constantly changing dissonant relationship between the Dreamspell calendar and the authentic traditional calendar of the Quiché Maya. We thus might entertain the possibility that Dreamspell is not simply a harmless game or New Age fan club; rather, it might actually be a system that is not aligned with the Mayan calendar tradition and thus generates confusion. Anticipating the effects of this new ritual field is what we can now do, by exploring the auguries of the regularly mutating dissonance-factor between the Dreamspell count and the True Mayan Count.
Presently, here in October of 1995, the Dreamspell count is 52 days out of sync with the True Count. Since Dreamspell will neglect to count leap-day next February, as of March 1st the dissonance factor becomes 51. Projecting forward, the two counts synchronize perfectly in era 2200-2204 A.D. This identifies the parameters of the changing relationship. A table clarifies the dissonance factor in 4-year eras up to end-date 2012:
The 4-year shift-cycle is exactly half of the 8-year Venus cycle found in the Dresden Codex. One can fractionalize each ratio in the table above and come up with a detailed analysis of these number relationships, but let's keep things simple. Our first concern is to identify the numerological nature of the primary dissonance number (for example, 52 in era 1992-96). What is the quality of this number in relation to the full 260-day ritual cycle? What is its relation to the key tzolkin numbers 13 and 20? And how does it relate to the so-called "12:60 of industrial materialism" that is central to Dreamspell philosophy?
The era 1992-96 was characterized by the launching of Dreamspell, the consolidation of July 26th as Dreamspell's New Year's Day, and the splintering of Dreamspell movement into many seed groups. A 52-day dissonance is 1/5th of the tzolkin, providing an overall cozy feeling. The # dissonance was also in perfect harmonic; i.e., during this period of expansion the Dreamspell count and the True Count shared the same numbers. However, the day-sign dissonance was 12/20the day-signs were 12 days out of sync. The number 12 is, of course, a key number of the 12:60, and 12/20 = .60! In the previous four-year period, the day-sign "rub" was a tzolkin-pleasing 13/20, clearly stimulating a "feeding" of Dreamspell from the well of galactic synergy. On March 1st, 1992, the dramatic shift from a 13/20 Maya factor to a 12/20 factor symbolizing the worst of 12:60 interference illustrates how Dreamspell shifts from relative harmony to dissonance in relation to the True Count. A harmonic relation between any given aspect of these fields invites reciprocal sharing of the Gaian wellspring and then, when leap-day is ignored, the field of relationship changes, literally, overnight!
For another example, in era 2004-08, the day-sign dissonance is 9/20 and the overall dissonance number is 49. This means the difference between the number (out of 13) in the Dreamspell count (as compared to the True Count) is 10. There are, of course, 13 total numbers to cycle through, so the # dissonance is 10/13. This ratio equals 1.3, which refers to a key number of the 13:20, for 1.3 times 10 is 13. As such, the Dreamspell count temporarily gets a "feed" or "rub" from the True Count. The Dreamspell system thus appears to extract energy from the galactically timed True Count, and occasionally departs from a harmonious relationship with it. Because the Dreamspell count is constantly shifting, or mutating, it adds a non-harmonious foreign influence into the reciprocal dynamic between the two competing ritual fields.
The next step in our analysis may seem unwarranted, yet it is the logical outcome of the analysis, in which I introduce the metaphor of "virus". The constantly mutating Dreamspell system, like all good viruses, evinces an ability to shift and mutate, ensuring adaptability to its host. Here, I originally suggested that the apparent "mistakes" of Dreamspell were perhaps part of a hidden plan. But going this far is really unnecessary. Since Dreamspell already operates at odds with the True Count, this next step, even if true, would merely be a deeper level of the interference caused by skipping Feb 29th. Conscious intention or "hidden plan" is irrelevant when we are just looking at the effects of the system.
Let's go back to the field transition of 1992. On March 1st, 1992, the dissonance factor changes from 53 to 52. This represents an increased dissonance with the True Count, in the following way. The parameters of the field-relationship change with the dissonance factor. A 53-day dissonance means that the tzolkin numbers are 1/13th out of phase, while the day-signs are 13/20ths out. The day-signs here, as we mentioned earlier, have a favorable relation. The 1/13th number dissonance is slightly out of tune. In this shift, Dreamspell apparently borrows energy from the True Count by first operating in relative harmony with it, and then shifitng out of phase. The True Count has stability and the power of millennia behind it; it is rooted like a huge ancient tree. Its strength is derived from the number and power of its ceremonial keepers, but any ritual field is subject to disruption by a replicant field that relates to it through resonance but occasionally shifts out of phase. Again, this systems analysis is limited solely to the changing energetic relationships between Dreamspell and the True Count. If there is a "hidden plan" it is not relevant to speculate upon where it comes from.
The March 1st, 1996 shift represented a new dissonance factor,
a property of Dreamspell that we have deciphered through a process of examining
the numerical dynamics involved. The date was 1 Imix in the True Count, and
provided a doorway for Dreamspell followers to jump ship and begin following
the True Count. The longer anyone follows a specific ritual pattern, the harder it
will be to shift. Based upon this Morphogenetic Field analysis, one might say
that Dreamspellers will increasingly move into conscious opposition to authentic
Mayan culture when we open era 2000-2004 A.D. in which
the day-sign difference is 10 (in direct opposition). At this juncture, unless
Dreampellers are prepared to consciously declare their open opposition to the
True Countand all of this by then will be out in the openthey should
take the opportunity afforded by the next 1 Imix (March 1st, 1996) to question
the nature of the Dreamspell count, and shift to following the True Count.
In The Mayan Factor, the text ends with October 6th, 1986 correlated with 1 Imix (page 196). This, of course, is in the Arguelles count. In the True Count this day was 12 Manik. As far as I can tell, this is the first presentation of a published date correlation using the new count placement formalized in Dreamspell. Here's the connection: The end of the Great Cycle on December 21st, 2012 AD occurs on 12 Manik in the Arguelles count (4 Ahau in the True Count). This takes into account the 7 days lost between 1986 and 2012, because Feb 29 is not counted. The 1 Imix date in October of 1986 resonantly relates to 1 Imix when it truly occurs on March 1st, 1996. As I suggested in the paragraph above, this 1 Imix date in the True Count is a very important transition for Dreamspell, the beginning of era 1996-2000 with a dissonance value of 51. The interval between these dates in "real time" isn't what is importantit's the ritual "sharing and shifting" of the "face" of 1 Imix, thereby compromising its credibility (or oracular power) whenever it occurs later on.
This essay does not engage in apologetics for Dreamspell. On the contrary, a careful and conscious examination of Dreamspell's operations and internal inconsistencies results in a fair and honest appraisal that will be unpopular with its creator and its followers. All new philosophies and systems deserve to be, and should be, tested. Should the Dreamspell system be exempt from such examination? I don't think so. It is difficult to not conclude that the mutating dissonance factor embedded in Dreamspell (i.e., the fact that it skips Feb 29th) interferes with the ritual field established by the traditional Mayan calendar. The key is understanding the changing relationship between the newly created day-count oraclewhich has power through its followersand the True Count. With this key to interpreting the changing relationship between the Dreamspell count and the True Count of days, we have a means of anticipating the future energetic effects of the Dreamspell system.
This brief document is intended to point the way, clarify facts, restore truth, and support the authentic Maya calendar tradition. The Maya have endured much over the centuries since the conquest, beyond our imagining. They've endured tenfold that suffering in the last sixteen years what with dominator culture institutionalizing genocide, and now their calendar tradition is threatened with being superseded by a new system coming from a realm beyond their control. It is sad that so much of the authentic Mayan tradition must be defended here. The day-gods can't be heard as clearly as they used to. The ancestors' voices are faint. It is harder to feel the lightning in the blood, to read the subtleties in each day's face. The day-keepers feel they must do more ceremonies, yet the fire is dimming. Game players to the north, all lovers of Mayan tradition, should meditate upon a core truth with deep implications: 184.108.40.206.0 is 4 Ahau, December 21, 2012 AD. When that all important date arrives, and it is not 4 Ahau, how can we synchronize?
Listen to the Maya
Hear them count the days
Voicing for the Mother's good
Tracking, tracing ancient patterns
From where the Mother-Father stood
Passing through this bottle neck
When the birth canal is brimming
Filled with future, ancient lore
Seek to open out to spirit
Ride the wave
(for more on the cosmic center
Postscript. It should be noted that the Venus calendar and eclipse cycle are core components of Mayan time philosophy, especially in the area of harmonically linking human activities with earth rhythms and higher celestial cycles, yet are not embraced by the Dreamspell system.
This revision should satisfy the concerns of those who found the original piece to be overly personally critical. If this revised piece is still found to be objectionable, the questions it raises should be addressed before further requests for deleting it are taken seriously. In service to truth and clarity,
John Major Jenkins
March 2, 2003